I write contemporary westerns for Harlequin Romance, but I think they always have a bit of a Canadian twist. It’s in our attitude, they way we view things, the things we say. There are similarities to our neighbours to the south, but I love to celebrate the differences, too. And I love love love that Paul Gross took the bull by the horns and made the movie GUNLESS.
Paul Gross is the guy who was a Mountie in Due South and was well-known for the line, “Thank you kindly.” In Gunless he shows up north of the border in Barclay’s Bush as an outlaw, The Montana Kid, but he can’t find a single person to duel. If an outlaw can’t be an outlaw, what on earth is he supposed to do with himself, anyway?
The scenes are ripe with Canadian dry wit and practicality. When the villain, played by Callum Keith Rennie, has the heroine, Jane in his sights, he says she’s not worth the bullet. “She most certainly is worth a bullet,” The Montana Kid argues, and an outraged Jane says, “HEY!” When he asks where he’s ended up, a little Chinese girl states, “The Dominion of Canada.” “Oh,” he grumbles in his gravelly voice. “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse.”
Dustin Milligan plays a shiny-faced Mountie at the local outpost, who happens to be sweet on Jane. Then there’s Graham Greene who plays the token Indian absolutely deadpan: “You gotta learn to tie up your horse, chief.”
But it’s not all one liners and Canadian politeness. There *is* a bounty hunter on his trail, and there is, of course, a shoot out at the end. And romance. Don’t forget romance! After all, a good outlaw needs to be reformed – and get the girl!